Imagine the best marketing campaigns you’ve ever seen. Chances are, they all shared a common element — they evoked some sort of emotion within you. Whether it was nostalgia, laughter, jealousy, or even rage, those campaigns struck a nerve.
Now, were these marketing campaigns produced by a major brand targeting consumers? In most cases, they were — this falsely leads many to believe that emotion has no place in B2B marketing.
If these B2C brands are successfully using emotion to connect with their audience and generate action, you can adopt the same strategy to inject emotion into your industrial marketing too.
Humanize Your Approach In B2B Marketing
Remember, you're selling to humans, not companies. This is where the majority of beginner industrial marketers tend to go off-track. Industrial marketers typically envision their audience as corporations. But corporations are made up of people! While the corporation ultimately purchases your products, it’s a human making that purchasing decision.
Remember how the emotion of those outstanding marketing campaigns you thought about earlier affected you? Your business can do the same to your audience.
B2B emotional marketing means appealing to the businesses' pain points as well as the personal motivators of the key employees within the company you're marketing to. The way you present your products ultimately has to tick all the right boxes from a business perspective — finish, fit, pricing, reliability, delivery times — and make the people behind those buying decisions feel personally invested in your manufacturing brand.
What Emotions Can You Appeal To In Your Content Marketing?
Your content marketing can appeal to many emotions that resonate not only on a business level, but also on a personal level. Consider how the following appeal to something personal:
Your product or service appeals to a buyer because it will help them grow in some way. The same appeal can be made for personal professional growth — use of your product or service can put the person on their desired path to greater professional growth.
Yes, B2B buyers are always looking for smart products and services that save time, providing business-wise benefits such as reduced operational and labor costs. But time savings can translate into a very valuable emotional appeal. Most people aim to work to live, not live to work — saving time by use of your product or service frees up time for them on a personal level, which can then be dedicated to the things the individual is passionate about.
Reducing costs by using your product or service improves a company’s bottom line. The human appeal is what the company can do for people with those generated savings. Savings reinvested into the business has the power to create more opportunities and benefits for employees.
Four Content Examples of Industrial B2B Emotional Marketing
GE utilizes visual storytelling on Instagram to humanize the very technical and complex projects that can impact our day-to-day lives. Social media marketing is a great way to showcase behind the scenes elements and put employees in the spotlight which can be great for hiring purposes as well.
According to the Aberdeen Group, video marketing efforts can achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness and industrial companies should be incorporating this format in their marketing too.
Valero takes full advantage of video marketing by telling customer stories in it's #FueledBy campaign. It doesn't outright promote Valero's products, but humanizes it's product by having a customer tell her story about how she achieves her passion of brewing.
You can also make emotional connections in your B2B marketing with text-based blogs. GM tells stories that have a real impact on both consumers and businesses that strike a chord with people.
GM's blog, "Want A Game Changing Technology Solution? Ask An Inspired Mom," discusses teen driving technologies which supports their brand and product, but also discusses real issues that is a relatable fear for many parents.
A 2016 survey by Harris poll concluded that 55% of parents are most fearful of their teens ages 13-17 driving without adult supervision.
Not all emotional marketing has to hit your gut in a serious tone, some can be light, playful and overall fun. We all know that CAT equipment is one of the major players in construction, power generation and oil and gas, so they took their strong brand marketing to the next level with a great example of brand marketing.
Caterpillar has taken something very relatable like the game Jenga and applied it to it's business.
Learn More About B2B Emotional Content
Emotional appeals aren’t just for consumer brands — they have a valid place in industrial marketing. If your brand isn’t thinking along these lines, you’re missing out on an invaluable way to connect with the buyer of your products or services. See how the best type of content that manufacturers and industrial companies engage with in our Content Marketing eBook.
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